The Tchoukball Charter details the spirit in which tchoukball should be played. The creator of tchoukball, Dr Herman Brandt, intended tchoukball to be a tool to bring peace between people and countries – and from the simplest most friendly encounter to competitive international fixtures the Charter remains central to a player’s behaviour on and off court.
The Tchoukball Charter is not meant as a gesture document; it is a genuine framework for sporting behaviour within a fast and spectacular game. The rules of tchoukball demand that players adhere to the Charter by showing respect for each other. If a player’s actions are regarded as anti-Charter, referees can and will act to stop this behaviour from continuing. Through this, we keep tchoukball a sport as it was originally intended – without the unhealthy face of cheating or doping and with the positive effects of physical exercise and sense of community.
Furthermore, as a fair play doctrine, what sets the Tchoukball Charter aside from other sports is the expectation that win or lose, you show appreciation for the opposition and their skill and dedication to the game. The aim is to be the best you can be, not better than other players for the sake of it. Hence, tchoukball should always be practised and played with the Charter in mind and we encourage all players and coaches to take the time to read and understand it. Read it in full below ↡
The Tchoukball Charter
Tchoukball excludes any striving for prestige, whether individually or as a team; rather it is a sport in which players pursue excellence through personal training and collective effort.
Tchoukball is open to players of all degrees of ability (natural or acquired) and skill. Inevitably one will encounter players of every possible ability/skill level during play. Every player must adapt their own play and attitude (technical or tactical) to the circumstances of the moment because each player, teammate or opposing player is due proper respect and consideration.
On an individual level: the attitude of a player is paramount for it implies respect for themself, for their own teammates and for the opposing team’s players regardless of whether any are stronger or weaker players than oneself.
On a team level: no outcome, whatever it might be, should ever impact one’s sense of importance, individually or as a team, and it should never lead to sectarian rivalry. From victory one can derive satisfaction and even joy, but never exaggerated pride. The joy of winning should provide encouragement. Arrogance in victory carries with it the struggle for prestige, which is a source of common conflict among humans and condemned within the sport of tchoukball.
Tchoukball requires total dedication: one must keep constant watch on the movement of the ball and the other players – both objectively and with empathy. As one participates individually in the sport, one subjects oneself to the group’s needs. The result is that in the course of a game, different personalities come together as one when they react collectively within the game.
Thus, in Tchoukball:
- there is a collective achievement within a team. This binds the players together, it teaches appreciation and esteem for the values of others, and it creates a feeling of oneness in the common effort of a small group.
- there is an acceptance of the attitudes of the opposing team with whom one must engage in opportunistic play while resisting any hostile undercurrents.
- each player’s major concern is to strive for beauty of play. The universal experience of sport can be summed up by the expression: “elegant play begets elegant play.”
This attitude is the basis for social interaction of tchoukball: it encourages one to aim for perfection while always avoiding any negative conduct toward the adversary.
This basic premise is more than just the rule of a sport – it is a rule for conduct at all times, a psychological component of behaviour, the basis of an individual’s personality.
The aim of tchoukball is therefore the avoidance of conflict, with one main goal in mind: fair play that does not compromise the level of play but rather links the two teams together in common activity. The beauty of one team’s play makes possible and reinforces the beauty of play by the other team.
Tchoukball provides social exercise through physical activity. By pooling the resources of all, everyone participates, with the more adept players accepting responsibility for teaching the less adept; therefore, there is no real individual champion, but rather a collective striving for perfection.
When one says, “let the best person win,” it should mean that a person achieves their best through adequate preparation. This being so, it is appropriate that the results reward the efforts which players have undertaken, individually and as a team.
Within these limits, a victory can and should bring satisfaction and meet with an adversary’s respect. Victory should inspire in an adversary a desire to do as well, without any feeling of belittlement. Winners should not convey any feeling of arrogant domination. Rather, a sense of healthy satisfaction on the winner’s side is like a handshake to encourage the adversary to continue to train properly.
For these reasons, the notion of “victor” should give way to the simpler more appropriate one of “winner.” Play as a means of perfecting one’s performance is a basic desire that every activity should include and develop. It is toward this goal that every Tchoukball team must work, whether it is in the smallest, friendliest match or the most important meeting “at the summit.”
Remember, no set of rules can replace a player’s respect for one another and the Spirit of the Game.